is there horse racing on new year’s day

Whether or not horse racing is scheduled on New Year’s Day can vary depending on the specific year and location. In some regions, horse racing may be a traditional feature of the holiday, with major races attracting large crowds and wagering. In other areas, horse racing may not be held on New Year’s Day due to factors such as weather conditions, track availability, or local regulations. To determine whether horse racing will be taking place on New Year’s Day, it is advisable to consult relevant websites or contact local racetracks for up-to-date information.

New Year’s Day Horse Racing

Horse racing is a popular sport enjoyed by many around the world. However, most major tracks are closed on New Year’s Day, with a few exceptions.

Major Tracks Closed on New Year’s Day

  • Belmont Park
  • Churchill Downs
  • Keeneland
  • Santa Anita
  • Saratoga Race Course

These tracks are typically closed for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To give employees a day off to spend with their families.
  • To allow for track maintenance and repairs.
  • To avoid competing with other holiday events, such as the Rose Bowl Parade.


There are a few exceptions to the rule that most tracks are closed on New Year’s Day.

Gulfstream ParkHallandale Beach, FLThoroughbred and Quarter Horse races
Laurel ParkLaurel, MDThoroughbred races
Santa YsabelTorrance, CAQuarter Horse races

These tracks offer racing on New Year’s Day, providing fans with a chance to enjoy the sport during the holiday season.

## Is There Horse Racing on New Year’s Day?

Yes, there is horse racing on New Year’s Day at several racetracks across the United States and beyond. Here’s a closer look at the regional racing options available:

### Regional Racing Options

**East Coast:**

– **Laurel Park Race Course (Maryland):** Features the annual New Year’s Day Stakes, a stakes race for 3-year-old horses.

– **Gulfstream Park (Florida):** Hosts the Pegasus World Cup, one of the richest horse races in the world with a purse of $12 million.

**West Coast:**

– **Santa Anita Park (California):** Showcases the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes, a prestigious race for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

– **Golden Gate Fields (California):** Offers the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby, a prep race for the Kentucky Derby.

**Other Regions:**

– **Turf Paradise Park (Arizona):** Presents the Grade 3 Sham Stakes, another Kentucky Derby prep race.

– **Aqueduct Racetrack (New York):** Hosts a full card of races, including the Grade 3 Toboggan Stakes and the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes.

– **Emerald Downs (Washington):** Features the John C. Holzman Memorial Stakes, a stakes race for 3-year-old horses.

– **Wellington Racecourse (New Zealand):** Celebrates New Year’s Day with a special race meet that includes the Wellington Cup, a Group 1 race.

– **Happy Valley Racecourse (Hong Kong):** Hosts a 10-race card on New Year’s Day, featuring the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup, one of the most prestigious races in Asia.

**Regional Racing Schedule:**

| Region | Racetrack | Featured Races |
| East Coast | Laurel Park | New Year’s Day Stakes |
| East Coast | Gulfstream Park | Pegasus World Cup |
| West Coast | Santa Anita Park | Malibu Stakes |
| West Coast | Golden Gate Fields | El Camino Real Derby |
| Other Regions | Turf Paradise Park | Sham Stakes |
| Other Regions | Aqueduct Racetrack | Toboggan Stakes, Jerome Stakes |
| Other Regions | Emerald Downs | John C. Holzman Memorial Stakes |
| Other Regions | Wellington Racecourse | Wellington Cup |
| Other Regions | Happy Valley Racecourse | Hong Kong Cup |


– Check the racetracks’ websites for the most up-to-date information on races and schedules.
– Purchase tickets in advance for popular races to avoid disappointment.
– Dress comfortably and prepare for potential rain or cold weather.
– Enjoy the festive atmosphere and the thrill of horse racing on New Year’s Day!

International Horse Racing Events on New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day is a holiday celebrated worldwide, and many countries mark the occasion with exciting horse racing events.


Australia is famous for its horse racing traditions. Several notable races are scheduled on New Year’s Day:

  • Sydney Cup (Sydney Racecourse) – A prestigious Group 1 race run over 3200 meters
  • The Big Dance (Rosehill Gardens Racecourse) – A Group 1 sprint race for fillies and mares over 1200 meters
  • Magic Millions Classic (Gold Coast Turf Club) – A lucrative race for two-year-olds run over 1200 meters

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s iconic Sha Tin Racecourse hosts the New Year’s Day Race Meeting:

  • The Hong Kong Gold Cup (Group 1) – A race for middle-distance horses run over 2000 meters
  • The Hong Kong Vase (Group 1) – A 2400-meter race for stayers

South Africa

Gallop racing fans in South Africa can enjoy the following events on New Year’s Day:

  • The Met (Kenilworth Racecourse) – One of the most significant races in South Africa, Group 1 over 2000 meters

New Zealand

The Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland hosts the New Year’s Day Races:

  • Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (Group 1) – A 1600-meter race for three-year-olds and older

United States

Santa Anita Park in California is a popular destination for horse racing enthusiasts on New Year’s Day:

  • San Pasqual Stakes (Group 2) – A 1700-meter race for three-year-olds and older
Summary of New Year’s Day Horse Racing Events
CountryRacecourseMajor Race(s)
AustraliaSydney RacecourseSydney Cup, The Big Dance
AustraliaRosehill Gardens RacecourseThe Big Dance
AustraliaGold Coast Turf ClubMagic Millions Classic
Hong KongSha Tin RacecourseHong Kong Gold Cup, Hong Kong Vase
South AfricaKenilworth RacecourseThe Met
New ZealandEllerslie RacecourseCoupland’s Bakeries Mile
United StatesSanta Anita ParkSan Pasqual Stakes

Historical Holiday Races

The tradition of horse racing on New Year’s Day dates back to the 19th century in the United States.

  • The very first recorded race was held in New Orleans in 1872.
  • The race quickly became a tradition in the city, and other tracks around the country soon followed suit.

Today, horse racing on New Year’s Day is a popular tradition at many tracks across the country.

  • Some of the most famous races include the Rose Bowl Stakes at Santa Anita Park in California, the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park in Florida, and the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

These races offer large purses and attract some of the top horses in the country.

Santa Anita ParkRose Bowl Stakes$300,000
Gulfstream ParkSunshine Millions Classic$1 million
Gulfstream ParkPegasus World Cup$12 million

Well, there you have it, folks! Now you know where to catch some thrilling horse racing action on New Year’s Day. Whether you’re a seasoned punter or just looking for a bit of excitement, these tracks are sure to deliver. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to drop by again soon for more racing updates and insights. Cheers!